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Where does the GOP’s right-wing grouchiness come from?
I’ve found it! I’ve discovered the original document framing the tea party’s political creed.
Tea-infused Republicans are the “anti” party – anti-science, anti-public, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-Obama… anti-anti-anti. Where does all this bombastic negativity come from? It turns out that their sour philosophy is rooted in “Horse Feathers.” It’s a 1932 Marx Brothers musical comedy that features Groucho belting out a song with these lyrics:
“Your proposition may be good But let’s have one thing understood
Whatever it is, I’m against it!
And even when you’ve changed it
Or condensed it I’m against it!”
So it’s no surprise that the GOP’s Senate leaders and presidential seekers have taken a preemptory “we’re agin’ it,” head-in-the-sand stand against anyone President Obama would nominate to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy. We won’t let logic, fairness, or our duty to the Constitution reverse our petulant, purely-partisan, knee-jerk “NO,” they vaingloriously proclaim. Maybe if he nominates a corporation to sit on the court they’d change their tune, but otherwise... no!
Actually, their recalcitrance is no surprise, for the right wing has been an obstructionist group throughout our history. Indeed, there wouldn’t even be a USA if the reactionaries of the 1770s had won the day – their Tory faction adamantly opposed Jefferson, Adams, Washington, and the other “radicals” who broke from the British Monarchy to forge our independent nation. And they’ve fought every progressive advance since – abolition of slavery, extending the vote to women, protecting the rights of labor, civil rights, Social Security and Medicare, women’s rights, gay marriage, etc. etc.
So the “Grouchos” of today are just singing the same old reactionary song, still trying to shove America back into a monarchy of the rich.
“Where Our Political Compass Points,” The New York Times, February 20, 2016.
“Blacks See Bias in Delay on a Scalia Successor,” The New York Times, February 18, 2016.
“Republicans See How Long They Can Hold Their Breath,” The New York Times, February 18, 2016.
“Whatever It Is, I’m Against It,” From the Marx Brothers film “Horse Feathers, 1932.
Who should pay Mitch McConnell’s salary?
Why should you and I have to keep paying Mitch McConnell’s salary?
He’s the Senate Majority Leader, but he doesn’t lead – and he really doesn’t do much of anything, refusing to pick up the legislative tools he’s been given and go to work on the many things that We The People need Congress to do. Imagine if you tried drawing your paycheck after ignoring your workload!
McConnell says “no” to every task at hand. Repair and replace the water pipes that leach lead and are poisoning families all across America? No, he yawns. Raise the minimum wage to help bridge the dangerous wealth gap separating the superrich from the rest of us? Don’t bother me with such stuff, Mitch snaps. Shut off that gusher of corrupt corporate money pouring into our elections and drowning the people’s democratic rights? Not my problem, shrugs the lumpish ne’er-do-well.
And now a straightforward constitutional duty has been handed to McConnell: Gear up the Senate’s “Advise and consent” mechanism to approve or reject President Obama’s nominee to replace the deceased Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia. Mañana, muttered the somnolent senator, though he really means next year, long after Obama is gone.
We’re paying this guy a salary of $174,000 a year, plus another $19,000 to serve as majority leader. It’s insulting to taxpayers that he won’t even go through the motions of doing his job. Of course, saying “no” to all the chores he ought to be doing for the people is exactly what the corporate sponsors of his Republican Party expect from him. They want an inert and unresponsive government, a poverty-wage economy, a plutocratic election system, and a court of their own choosing.
So “Do Nothing” Mitch is their boy. But at least, shouldn’t the corporations that he serves have to pay his salary, rather than sticking us with the cost?
Texas workers discover a corporate giant’s shriveled ethical heart
The “human resources” departments of huge corporations are known for issuing helpful bulletins to employees, such as this one: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”
Beatings of workers these days take the form of slashing wages and benefits, offshoring jobs, busting unions, and generally disparaging and disrespecting the people who produce their products. It’s a hell of a way to run a business.
Consider the hellacious greed of Glencore, the 10th largest corporation in the world. Never heard of it? No surprise, for the new world order is dominated by such octopi that snarf up brand names and suck out profits. Glencore, a $233-billion, Swiss commodities conglomerate, gobbled up Alcoa aluminum corporation in 2007, which in 2001 had swallowed Reynolds aluminum.
Caught in this frenzy of corporate feasting are 450 steelworkers in Gregory, Texas. Employed by a company named Sherwin Alumina – which first was a subsidiary of Reynolds, then Alcoa, and now Glencore – they are top-quality producers of aluminum. In 2014, however, the highly-profitable Swiss conglomerate rewarded their productivity by demanding deep cuts in their pay and benefits.
When the members of the Steelworkers union rejected this insulting proposal, Glencore’s greedmiesters locked the 450 workers out of the plant, hoping to break their morale and bully them into accepting the raw deal. But this ploy only intensified the steelworkers’ resolve to reject such gross unfairness, turning their picketline into a symbolic stand against all global corporate elites who’ve adopted anti-worker thuggishness as a normal business practice and a core corporate value.
The gutsy steelworkers in Gregory, Texas, are not only standing up for themselves – but for you, me, and workaday people everywhere.
“Sherwin Alumina Lockout,” www.usw.org, 2016.
“Sherwin Alumina Fact Sheet,” www.usw.org, October 13, 2014.